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Are 'diet' products harmful?

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Old 03-12-2008, 09:37 PM   #1
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Llama HB User
Are 'diet' products harmful?

I have recently decided to give up all 'diet' products like soda and the like. They must be unhealthy somehow. I am trying to 'clean up' my diet and eat more natural things. It is hard though! Any thoughts?

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Old 03-13-2008, 04:07 AM   #2
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Re: Are 'diet' products harmful?


I have read a number of books by Michael Pollan. While I am not a fanatic about eating only "bio" foods, I do tend to agree with him that eating foods as close to their natural state as possible is better than eating artificial foods. This means that I would rather put a bit of granulated sugar in my tea than artificial sweeteners. I cook from scratch and try not to buy any products with a long list of ingredients. As the years go by, I am eating more veggies and more whole-grain rather than white flour foods.

My feeling is that even though the human body has amazing powers of healing itself, we in the western world are bombarded in the environment and in the manufactured foods that we consume with a tremendous number of artificial substances that didn't exist 50 years ago. Many of these chemicals are beneficial by themselves. Tests show that each individual substance is not harmful. As I said, the human body has amazing powers to withstand lots of foreign bacteria and viruses and chemicals. But my concern is that the substances that we are bombarded with everyday are in the thousands -- there are substances outgassing from our carpets and furniture, there are particles in the air from factories and autos, there are a long list of chemicals that we put onto our bodies in our shampoos and lotions and perfumes and washing powders and so on. Some of these chemicals we can choose to do without (we can use different cleaning products or toothpaste, for example), but many of them surround us and we can't do anything about them short of moving to the woods or a mountain top.

So I concentrate on doing what I can to minimize the chemicals and artificial things that my body has to deal with everyday by choosing to purchase individual foods and put them together into meals myself. As I said, I am not a fanatic about this in every detail, but the vast majority of what I eat is real food. Artificial sweeteners may fool our taste buds, but they are still artificial, and are still just one more thing that our bodies have to handle.

My concern is to minimize the things that my body has to recover from, so that my body has a better chance of being healthy for a longer time.

This is a good topic for discussion. Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a healthy diet. And artificial sweeteners are certainly popular, and people are not dropping like flies in obvious numbers from consuming them, even in large quantities.

Making a major change to your diet is indeed a difficult thing. It is much easier to follow the patterns that make mealtime and snacktime so automatic. It takes a while of paying attention and learning new shopping habits and cooking habits to make those changes as automatic as the old habits were, and it certainly takes time to get used to the taste of "real" foods when we are used to the taste of artificial flavors.

But think of it as an adventure -- you have the chance to discover new foods and ways of preparing them that you didn't know about before. And you certainly don't have to make a major change all at once. As I said, I've been making changes bit by bit for years.


Old 03-16-2008, 06:36 AM   #3
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Re: Are 'diet' products harmful?

EXACTLY Rheanna!
That's the way I see it also.
I see the "diet" products mostly as chemical laden processed foods because that is pretty much what they are.
The best thing a person can do is make homemade food from fresh ingredients. After doing this for so long myself, when I happen to snack on fast food (ew!) or eat some processed food, let me tell you, I can really tell it's not good for me!
Also, our bodies are bombarded with chemical laden products. I know too that our skin absorbs much of it and the best thing to do is go as natural as possible.
I'm still too scared to give up my deodorant though! lol

Also Llama,
It may be hard to give up the diet stuff like, sodas at first because you may be so used to them and your body craves it. Same thing with fast food. If a person has been eating that often for a while you get to craving it! It's kind of like smoking in a way. You have to let the toxins and poisons leave your body and just replace it with nutritional foods.
I know some people who can not go through the day without having their diet soda. That tells you something, 'eh?
It's so bad for you.
Just think of what it is that you are putting in your body and what it does to you and it may help it be easier to stay away from it. Instead, drink some ice tea.

note: this is all my opinion
If you expect the unexpected do you get what you expected if what you get is unexpected?

Last edited by moderator2; 03-16-2008 at 07:38 PM. Reason: please delete those huge long quotes - or, instead, use the quick reply button for posting

Old 03-16-2008, 07:36 PM   #4
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Re: Are 'diet' products harmful?

Wow, thanks for the replies guys! You have given me a lot to think about. I definitely want to make some changes to my diet regarding more natural foods now too. Like rheanna though, I do not want to be fanatical. Just more conscious of what I'm putting in my body.

Old 05-02-2008, 06:49 PM   #5
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Re: Are 'diet' products harmful?

I'll admit that I do eat things with artificial sweeteners, but I try to keep them to a minimum! I try to not eat a lot of regular sugar either. Pretty much the only thing I put artificial sweetener in is coffee and I'm not an everday-coffee kind of person at all. When I want sweets, I'll grab some fruit or something healthy AND natural. I feel so much better that way rather than eating many processed foods. I used to eat a lot of Lean Cuisine meals and started eating a bit less processed foods and my energy level improved and I lost some weight too! I know some of the things I had in the past weren't BAD or dangerous or anything, but I feel better without them and it's totally worth it!

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